Judge tells attacker to study Sikhs as part of sentence

A judge on Friday ordered an Oregon man to learn about the Sikh religion and submit a report to the court as part of his sentence for an attack on a Sikh shopkeeper in Salem, a civil rights group said.

Posted: May 24, 2019 3:52 PM
Updated: May 24, 2019 3:58 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A judge on Friday ordered an Oregon man to learn about the Sikh religion and submit a report to the court as part of his sentence for an attack on a Sikh shopkeeper in Salem, a civil rights group said.

Andrew Ramsey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of intimidation and assault in the Jan. 14 incident targeting Harwinder Singh Dodd, the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the U.S., said in a release.

The Intimidation count is considered a hate crime, it said.

Witnesses said Ramsey pulled on Dodd's beard after he refused to sell him cigarettes without an ID, punched him and pulled him to the ground. Bystanders restrained Ramsey until police arrived.

Dodd, who came to the U.S. from India and owns the convenience store, noted in a written statement to the court that hate crimes are on the rise in America. The FBI says hate crimes increased by 40 percent in Oregon from 2016 to 2017.

"He didn't see me as a person," Dodd said of Ramsey. "He attacked me because of how I look. Because of my turban and beard — my religious articles of faith."

Police said Ramsey also threw his shoe at Dodd and snatched his turban. Sikh men don't cut their hair and cover it with a turban for religious reasons.

Marion County Judge Lindsay Partridge ordered Ramsey to attend the annual Sikh parade in June in Salem and report to the court what he learned about the Sikh community and culture, the Statesman Journal newspaper of Salem reported.

"Bigotry is the result of ignorance," Partridge said. "All of us are able to learn and benefit from cultures in our community."

He also sentenced Ramsey to three years of probation and 180 days in jail, with credit for time served, the newspaper said.

Partridge said mandatory drug, alcohol and mental health treatment was the best option for Ramsey, who has convictions for methamphetamine possession, domestic violence assault and theft.

Ramsey said he has had mental health problems his whole life and was ready to accept help, the newspaper said.

In 2018, members of Salem's Sikh community joined with other volunteers to aid 124 immigrants — many of them Sikhs — who were sent to a federal prison in nearby Sheridan by the Trump administration.

The Sikh temple in Salem offered the asylum-seekers religious and other services and a place to recover after they were released from months of incarceration.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 175121

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34937568
Washington23491229
Marion20195299
Clackamas15386204
Lane11591144
Jackson9923127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes712972
Linn416063
Yamhill410175
Klamath349059
Polk344252
Malheur342858
Josephine306362
Douglas304765
Benton273218
Jefferson207032
Coos197531
Columbia154526
Union141624
Lincoln130220
Wasco129128
Hood River112529
Morrow107915
Clatsop8958
Crook88019
Baker85814
Curry5959
Tillamook5813
Lake4137
Grant4124
Harney3066
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3718210

Reported Deaths: 61038
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122899723653
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2947794555
San Diego2749603674
Orange2689624896
Santa Clara1170812013
Kern1078591322
Sacramento1011721646
Fresno1005621646
Alameda853671477
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa67019782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383829
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41157560
San Francisco36032523
Santa Barbara33896446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29696311
Imperial27987719
Kings22774245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16260239
Santa Cruz15571204
Marin13861226
Yolo13580200
Shasta11677217
Butte11573196
El Dorado9719109
Napa966679
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598663
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada445775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362551
Humboldt358737
Lake340943
Glenn235725
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned610
Medford
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 68°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 48°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 68°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 68°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 63°
Staying warm this afternoon
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events